Research Article| Volume 180, P165-170, February 01, 2015

Incidence of high blood pressure in children — Effects of physical activity and sedentary behaviors: The IDEFICS study

High blood pressure, lifestyle and children
Published:November 26, 2014DOI:


      • The high blood pressure (HBP) has higher prevalence in children.
      • The incidences founded of Pre-HBP and HBP were: 121/1000 and 110/1000, respectively.
      • The sedentary behaviors during childhood increase the risk of developing HBP.



      High blood pressure (HBP) is one of the most important risk factors for cardiovascular diseases and it has a high prevalence in pediatric populations. However, the determinants of the incidence of Pre-HBP and HBP in children are not well known. i) To describe the incidence of HBP in European children; and ii) to evaluate the effect of physical activity (PA) and sedentary behavior (SB) on the Pre-HBP and HBP.


      The IDEFICS cohort study. A total of 16,228 children 2–9 years at baseline were recruited by complex sampling population-based survey in eight European countries. At baseline (T0), 5221 children were selected for accelerometer measurements; 5061 children were re-examined 2 years later (T1). We estimated the incidence of Pre-HBP and HBP and evaluate the effect of PA and SB on the Pre-HBP and HBP, by computing relative risks and the corresponding 95% confidence intervals (RR, 95% CI).


      Incidences of Pre-HBP and HBP per year were: 121/1000 children and 110/1000 children, respectively. We found that children maintaining SB > 2 h/d during the two year follow-up showed a RR of having HBP of 1.28 (1.03–1.60). Children in T1 not performing the recommended amount of PA (<60 min/d) have a RR of HBP of 1.53 (1.12 to 2.09). We found no association between pre-HBP and the behaviors.


      The incidence of pre-HBP and HBP is high in European children. Maintaining sedentary behaviors during childhood increases the risk of developing HBP after two years of follow-up.


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